From Gestures to MIDI: Geco Promises Music Applications for Leap Motion

Here we go again. Touchless hand gestures have been part of electronic musical performance ever since the Theremin first hummed to life almost 100 years ago. And those gestures embody the same challenges and promise. We have the ability as humans to think spatially, in three dimensions, and to have a tight sense of control via our muscles of gestures in space. We use gestures to communicate and to manipulate our world. Those same expectations can be disappointed in electronic systems, however, as they lack tangible physical feedback and may misinterpret our intentions. It’s easier to play with these ideas …

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The big idea: mix sound sources and inputs, add effects, and record -- all in different apps on one iOS gadget, or even with multiple iPhones/iPads.

Audiobus Launches Today: How it Connects iPhone, iPad Music Making [Videos]

For months, you’ve heard about Audiobus, an app that allows iOS apps to work together rather than being isolated tools. Now you can try it – and see if connecting apps on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad can make you more musically productive. The video above puts it more nicely than a written explanation could, summing up what it means to be able to easily combine apps. It’s nothing new: software for computers and patch cables for hardware have done this before. But that’s the point: connecting musical tools can make them more powerful, and the ease with which they …

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Eigenharp Pico Playing for Babies, in a Pico Music Box

From comments on the Eigenharp round-up, I think this is simply beautiful. I also think it will be the video to which I link people whenever comments get out of hand. (Heck, I may refer myself.) “Music to soothe the savage commenter?” Back to the music: First entry to the Eigenharp ALPHA competition. A small piece created on the TENORI-ON, from my new show Ti-To-Tis – Dance and Music for Babys. (babies from 0 to 3 years listen to live acoustic and electronic music, “dance” with two dancers and “play” with an actor/ puppetier, all around a magic clock; Ti-To-Tis …

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Animoog, Moog’s First iPad Synth, in Videos and Instrumental Use

Something I always appreciated about classical music training was learning to appreciate the particulars of each instrument, whether or not you played them yourself. A French Horn, for instance, is not an instrument without challenges: everything from tuning to balancing dynamic range to how you look when you add and remove muting can be demanding. And in technology – whether acoustic instrumental or digital – every design is about tradeoffs. You very often can’t get one thing without giving up something else. So I stand by the questions I asked about iPad synths in general last week, particularly as I …

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No Rapture, But Rapturous Music for the Occasion

New Yorkers weren’t buying the apocalyptic narrative in 14th Street as I snapped this – perhaps because they didn’t want to see the Yankees – Mets series interrupted. But check into Foursquare Rapture? Sure! A hive mind mentality is quickly infected with a meme, engaging partly consciously, partly unconsciously in a shared hallucination, projecting a common fantasy, as the planet’s population is wrapped up in a single idea. I’m speaking, of course, of myself and the Internet, as I and friends skittered across the Web’s social networking tools giggling over the common joke that May 21 was to be the …

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Eigenharp Covers Glass, and Software for Futuristic Instrument Goes Open and GPL

Speaking of futuristic instrumental design, the Eigenharp – an instrument that looks like the bassoon was redesigned by Vulcans – brings two big developments with its appearance this week in the Bay Area of California. First off, if you’ve doubted its utility in musical practice and you’re a fan of American minimalism, we’re treated to it covering the music of Philip Glass’ landmark Koyaanisqatsi. Geert Bevin, Eigenlabs’ Senior Software Developer, explains how he did it: I’m using SonicCouture’s Glass/Works Kontakt instrument in a four-part multi-timbral setup in Native Instruments Kontakt. Each key individually controls pitch, velocity and the resonance of …

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New Instruments That Matter: Four Examples, Live in SF, Really Do Move Music Forward

Richard Lainhart mans the Haken Continuum at an early installment of our Handmade Music series, back in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2011: among many options, four digital instruments challenge you to practice – really – with expressions that are deep and satisfying. Is there anything genuinely new in digital instruments? Isn’t it just a load of repeated novelty, without the ability to actually make useful musical noises? Hasn’t the technology just gotten in the way of the music? Isn’t … (sigh) .. all you see … all you get … (repeat ad infinitum) Even among technologist futurists, skepticism about the iterative …

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Alternative Controllers: Eigenharp Users Reflect on Playing a New Kind of Instrument

Photo courtesy Eigenlabs. Novel instruments come and go; futuristic ideas appear in demos, wow crowds, and then vanish just as quickly. In order to really become part of musical practice, they require practice. And with something as unusual as the Eigenharp – a digital music controller that looks like the love child of a bassoon and a fretboard and connects to a computer – they even necessitate new techniques and strategies. Enter musician Geert Bevin. As the creator of the fan site Eigenzone, he’s been a tireless champion of the instrument. He’s been compiling videos revealing player techniques and ideas …

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Hands On Eigenharp: Exploring an Innovative New Digital Instrument

eigenzone.org : Eigenharp Alpha Unboxing from Geert Bevin on Vimeo. Eigenharp Alpha Experiment 20100624 from Geert Bevin on Vimeo. A genuinely new instrument isn’t something you can expect to simply pick up and judge. Part of what makes music so addictive, so satisfying, is the amount of time and energy we put in. One would expect the same of new digital instruments. And so, we’re fortunate that musician Geert Bevin is giving the Eigenharp, a new digital instrument combining touch-based, real depth and attention. The Eigenharp itself is a strange animal, with a crooked wind input and larger model form …

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Eigenharp Details: MIDI, High-Res Protocol, and Open Source Plans for the Space Bassoon

The Pico model may lack the impressive array of keys on the flagship Alpha, but when it ships next month it’ll cost well under a grand. And even the Pico promises high-resolution touch, velocity-sensitive keys that you can “bend” as well as press, and high-resolution breath input. The “space bassoon” Eigenharp seems to have landed from another planet. Today, I’ve got good news: it’s bringing alien gifts with it. By next year, both the software and the high-performance protocol the instrument uses will be open source. Taken together with other advancements in the open source community and with protocols like …

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